Opposing the Harvard Tamil Chair – Hijacking the Cause and Other Musings

The year 2017 was full of controversial surprises when it comes to Tamil Nadu. The desperate attempts to recapture political and administrative power over the state, the dark secrets surrounding the business that is Tamil cinema, and the elections at R. K. Nagar were but a few of them. While focusing on the internal struggles in Tamil Nadu, the issue that most of the common populace failed to recognize as the most important and equally controversial of all was the attempt to create the Harvard Tamil Chair.

In brief, two well intentioned non-resident Indians (NRIs) were convinced connived into investing into the creation of a separate Chair for Tamil at Harvard. They followed it up with more international fundraising with the help of aggressive advertisement campaigns. Eventually, well intentioned but poorly informed individuals and organizations donated funds to support the cause of Tamil that the Harvard University supposedly stood for. All the donors, hoodwinked by the glitter surrounding the name of the institution, failed to do due diligence before their donations.

The folks working for the Harvard Tamil Chair left no stone unturned for fundraising. Using online social media as their principal means to approach potential donors, they have managed to raise funds and are still doing so.

More about the background and goals of the Harvard Tamil Chair has been recently elaborated elsewhere (here and here in Tamil and here in English)

It is important to understand the historical background. The entire issue of exposing the Harvard Tamil Chair has its roots in the hard work of Mr. Rajiv Malhotra and the Infinity Foundation. Mr. Malhotra has worked tirelessly for over two decades and has unearthed the malicious intent of enemies who are raging an intellectual war against what Bharat (India) stands for. The Breaking India Forces (BIF), the term he uses to refer to these enemies, have a systematic approach. Mr. Malhotra has written about this in great detail in his path breaking book titled ‘Breaking India’ (2011).

The time and energy that Mr. Malhotra has invested into revealing the work of BIF has taken a solid shape with the Swadeshi Indology (SI) conference series that began in 2016. The SI conference series focuses on important ideas that mainstream academicians of the West distort or hide from those trying to understand Bharat. The first edition (July 2016) of SI was dedicated to refuting the disruptive ideas/theses/misinterpretations of Sheldon Pollock. The second edition (February 2017) of SI was dedicated to different topics including Rasa theory, philology, and mimamsa.

The third and most recent edition (December 2017) of SI had papers and panel discussions on ‘Tamil Nadu – The Land of Dharma’. It was during the first day of SI-3 that there was one highly informative and heated discussion on the Harvard Tamil Chair moderated by Mr. Malhotra. The discussion revealed how activities of different Universities in the USA including Harvard, Berkeley, and Yale have contributed to the fake Aryan-Dravidian separationist divide. The discussion revealed how the highly venerated texts of the Sangam age would be systematically “academically” interpreted to be non-Vedic, non-Hindu, non-Sanskritic and possibly “exhibiting” Christian influences and thus, cause a large rift between different linguistic communities in Bharat. The heartening success of the panel discussion was the public agreement of one of the panelists to discuss this with some individuals with political power in Tamil Nadu.

The success of SI-3 aside, the first two weeks of 2018 saw some great news. While #HarvardTamilChair was popular until a few days ago on Twitter, the first few results that appear on typing #Harvard now displays #HarvardTamilScam. This is because of the announcements/tweets that the Twitter account of Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai posts these days tagged with #HarvardTamilScam. Dr. Ayyadurai claims boldly on his website the following:

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai Stops Harvard’s Selling of Tamil Professorship

Co-Founder of “Harvard Tamil Chair” Agrees to Pull Plug on $6 Million and Concurs with Dr. Ayyadurai That It Was Mistake to Fund Harvard

U.S. Senate Candidate Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai has stopped Harvard University’s attempt to pilfer trillions of dollars worth of indigenous artifacts through the sale of a “Harvard Tamil Chair” professorship.”

Any reader of the article might wonder why Dr. Ayyadurai has suddenly made such a sensational statement right after SI-3. Despite all the claims that Dr. Ayyadurai makes regarding his “sole” efforts in trying to stop the Harvard Tamil Chair, it must be understood that Dr. Ayyadurai has not been known for observing any tapas for the cause of Dharma. He seems to be using the effects of SI-3 as results of his own efforts.

While Dr. Ayyadurai claims to have solely stopped the Harvard Tamil Chair successfully, the Twitter handle of the Harvard Tamil Chair tweeted claiming that it wasn’t true.

Nevertheless, if what Dr. Ayyadurai claims is true, the stopping of the Harvard Tamil Chair is a victory for Dharma and that too only a short term victory. There is a need to build a strong sense of team work amongst the Hindus to fight against the BIF for the final victory. The success of the stopping of the Harvard Tamil Chair due to the efforts of Mr. Malhotra, SI-3, Dr. Ayyadurai, and several others combined is a small example of the potential level of teamwork that Hindus are capable of. Had the Hindus organized themselves earlier, the Harvard Tamil Chair would have been stopped in its roots a year ago.

-By Puliyur Tamilselvi Karuppasami –  a performing artist and political activist.

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  • Krishna

    It is difficult to imagine Tamil culture being non Hindu. If you travel through the land of Tamil Nadu, the marvelous temples scream of Sanatana Dharma and nothing else. We do see newer contaminations for sure. But these are just contaminations which came over course of time and will go away with time.